Quests and Retreats is an innovative new project designed by arts and place-making organisation, Wide Open, in response to a desire to imaginatively reconnect people to landscape places for wellbeing and vitality.
A Quest is based in atmospheric Scottish landscape. Each experience is imaginatively designed for each particular location, immersing participants in natural beauty, culture, uncovering a sense of place and encouraging participants to re-connect with their senses.
Our Retreats incorporate a balanced programme to nurture the mind, body, heart and soul, including combinations of physical, creative, intellectual and holistic well-being activities. They take place in beautiful country houses and castles hidden away in the hills. We aim to create an inspiring non-competitive atmosphere which creates a relaxed feeling of “family” brought together by shared interests. Individually everyone will have the opportunity for silence and reflection.
A typical retreat may include: Guided journeys into the landscape with artists, scientists and intellectual thinkers; reflection, discussion, writing and storytelling; mindfulness meditation; world-class art and music; quality, locally-produced food.
The south of Scotland’s ancient, unspoiled landscape has inspired some of the country’s most influential pioneers in the arts and sciences including Robert Burns, Oscar Wilde, Sir Walter Scott, Thomas Carlyle, JM Barrie, James Clarke Maxwell and the Kirkcudbright artists colony. In the 21st Century the area continues to be a haven for world renowned artists such as Andy Goldsworthy and Charles Jencks, and a thriving community of highly acclaimed artists, musicians and writers.
Our retreats are based in some of the region’s architectural gems, mansion houses steeped in cultural history with some fascinating stories to tell.
The area’s peaceful natural landscape has a rich spiritual heritage with connections to St Ninian, the druids and, today is home to the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the western world.
We believe that time spent in landscape and engaging with imaginative and cultural activities is good for the mind, heart, body and soul. We want to share our love of this special place, its landscape and introduce you to many creative and talented people who will inform your Quest and Retreat experience.
We want to provide opportunities to escape into the landscape, relax, reflect, and ignite the imagination with high quality cultural experiences, enjoy like-minded company, and feel inspired, nurtured by art and landscape and go home revitalized and full of creative possibilities.